Clayton Police search for Roxbury Drive killer

Investigators canvas neighborhood for evidence

RIVERDALE — Clayton County police are continuing their homicide investigation to determine who killed Demba Balde in front of his home Tuesday.

Thirty-three Clayton police officers and detectives returned to the Roxbury Drive neighborhood Thursday, distributing flyers about the case as they spoke with residents during “foot patrol,” said Danielle White, Clayton County Police spokesperson.

Clayton police also passed out flyers and spoke with residents in the same area Wednesday.

A candlelight vigil was held for Balde Wednesday night at his Atlanta convience store on Metropolitian Avenue. Clayton County Police went to the Atlanta store Thursday to continue their investigation and distribute flyers.

“We are just canvassing the neighborhood to see if anyone knows anything,” said Clayton Police Lt. Chris Windley on Wednesday.

Police responded to the shooting Tuesday, in the 600 block of Roxbury Drive near Riverdale around 9:45 p.m.

White said Balde was confronted by the gunman and perhaps accomplices as he unloaded groceries from his car.

“The victim attempted to flee but was shot,” White said.

Balde died at the scene.

Witnesses told police three suspects, believed to be teenagers, were seen fleeing the scene. The suspects are believed to live in the Roxbury Drive neighborhood, according to the lookout alert released by police.

Arleen Nixon lives on Westfield Drive, a block away from where the shooting took place. Nixon said she was inside her home pulling down blinds in her bedroom.

“I heard about six shots,” Nixon said. “They were loud enough that when I heard them I ducked. ... I saw a small, dark-colored compact car. I think it was a two-door, burgundy car riding really slow near the intersection right about the time the gunshots went off. The police were out here after the shooting labeling bullet casings at the intersection of Roxbury and Westfield.”

Nixon said she didn’t know Balde very well, but when they would see each other, he would always wave hello.

“He never bothered anybody,” Nixon added. “He would sit in his yard and listen to his country music and wave at you when he saw you.”

Nixon acknowledged she has lived in her home for over 50 years without any trouble in the area.

“I lived in my house since I was 5 years old, and we never had anything like this happen in the neighborhood,” she said.

Benita Lee also lives in the neighborhood, and warned her relatives to get out of the way when she heard the gunshots.

“I was sitting on my sofa when I heard five shots. I told my sister-in-law, ‘Those were gunshots!’ ” said Lee. “My little nephew was trying to look out of the window and I told him to get down!”

Lee said she heard the gunshots between 9:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., Tuesday.

Lee said after police left the crime scene, about an hour and half later, “we heard five or six more shots.”

Lee’s sister-in-law, Kerisha Brown, said she didn’t know what was going on when she heard the gunfire.

“I thought it was fireworks, because the gunshots were quick and they sounded like they were close by.”

Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting incidents or the suspects to contact Clayton County Detective Jeffery Gant by phone at 770-603-5277 or by e-mail, jeffery.gant@co.clayton.ga.us.